As we approach our retirement years, some concerns may begin to permeate our thoughts. Aches and pains, the inability to hear perfectly, and vision problems coupled with all the things that can go wrong with oral health … cavities, receding gingiva, gum disease, and tooth loss … it’s no wonder that you may have concerns. Your family dental provider is a fabulous asset for you if oral health problems arise.
Oral Health Concerns
Children and teens are often faced with dental decay due to diet, ineffective or absent daily oral care, and infrequent dental office visits. As we age, the onset of dental decay might resume once again due to dry mouth.
Dry mouth plagues many senior citizens … illness, medications, or lack of proper hydration are possible causes. A dry mouth can promote decay; your dentist will be happy to review your medications to see if there is an alternative that won’t exacerbate dry mouth. Or there are products on the market that help to alleviate this condition.
Gum disease can become a problem because very often nothing “hurts” until it’s too late. But there are other symptoms such as bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, and gum tissue appearing to pull away from teeth that should signal the need for a dental appointment.
Oral cancer can afflict patients in their senior years. However, if you have been diligent about seeing your dentist twice yearly, chances are that those regular oral exams you’ve received would catch anything before it has a chance to escalate.
Tooth loss should never be considered a normal part of the aging process. The loss of one or multiple teeth may stress an already stretched budget. When tooth loss occurs, the inability to chew properly impacts your diet (which can affect your overall health). If speaking becomes altered, you may hesitate to be around friends and family.
An active oral hygiene program of brushing twice daily for a minimum of two minutes each time coupled with flossing every day to remove what your toothbrush missed is a great start. Visit our team at Howl Dental every six months for a professional cleaning and dental exam. Maintaining great oral health is an integral part of feeling and looking great as you grow older.